By the end of 2018, it’s estimated that nearly 1.2million people worldwide will have passed through the doors of a co-working space as ‘solopreneurs’, with such facilities acting as the perfect venue for our modern-day gig economy.
The age of the freelancer is well and truly upon us, with the number of so-called solopreneurs rising astronomically year-on-year. As a result, the co-working space – an idea adopted from our American cousins – has become ubiquitous throughout the country, with Manchester in particular playing host to many.
But what exactly makes a Manchester co-working space so perfect for those going it alone? We put on our deerstalker hats and investigated (with a little insight from our clients).
A COMMUNITY COMING TOGETHER
As the population of flexible, independent professionals has swelled, so too have the number of opportunities and networking possibilities available to them. Communities based around our gig economy and the industries involved with it have given rise to solopreneurs coming together to share work, offer referrals, and even explore innovative new ventures together.
But where are these ideas coming together? Who is coordinating professionals from different industries into networks and alliances? The answer is no one: within the co-working space, individuals are joining forces of their own accord, bound by the same choice to work independently surrounded by like-minded individuals from several different industries.
The organic matchmaking afforded by co-working space has played a significant part in its popularity over the last few years, with solopreneurs preferring to ditch the kitchen table and subsequent loneliness in favour of a space where they can still be flexible and independent, but also interact with others and generate opportunities.
JUST ENOUGH TO GET AHEAD
Speaking of the kitchen table, Manchester co-working space also serves another important purpose to the solopreneur – one to which its popularity is owed. In years gone by, freelancers would often find themselves working from home in order to save on pennies, talking themselves out of office space for fear of the cost and the pressure to then expand and fill the space on offer.
The co-working space has offered a viable alternative, providing solopreneurs with just enough real estate to get ahead and grow their business at their own pace – if they want to grow it at all. A Manchester co-working space offers the comforts of home (fresh coffee, a clean environment), as well as a space to call their own and additional facilities such as meeting rooms – everything they need without the huge cost of a private office.
And, should the solopreneur decide to expand their operations, a co-working space is well-equipped to accommodate additional employees, before an office space is required. In short, it provides an escape from home-based working, and an opportunity for growth, all without breaking the bank in the first month.
As the number of solopreneurs continues to grow, changing the modern business landscape in their wake, so too does the Manchester co-working space offering. Additional resources become available, new spaces are opened, and the independent professional and co-working space evolve together, side-by-side.
In the coming years – especially in the face of political upheaval such as Brexit – it’s likely that we’ll see a further explosion in the gig economy, and the ever-faithful co-working space will be on hand to ensure every freelancer is able to make the most of the situation and their talents.
Together, they go hand-in-hand, and who knows: one day the co-working space may even become the workplace of the future. It’s certainly food for thought.
Are you a solopreneur, or about to become a freelancer? Don’t let the stress of finding somewhere to conduct your business ruin what is potentially a very exciting time in your career! Instead, explore our website to find out a bit more about iHub’s Manchester co-working space offering, or get in touch directly with your questions. You may have gone solo, but trust us: you’re not alone!